By William Stafford
Time used to live here.
It likes to find places like this
and then leave so quietly
that nothing wakes up.
Whenever a rock finds what it likes
it hardly ever changes. Oh, rain
can persuade it, or maybe a river
out looking around. But that’s the exception.
They say there was a time when
rocks liked to dance. You can see
where that happened – great piles
of old partners that got tired of each other.
Now and then one stirs when nobody
is looking; then it stops and looks away
humming a little tune. In the mountains
you can see those nonchalant rocks.
Some of them should have stopped sooner
they’re haggard old wrecks, friendless,
and often just slumped around
wherever they fell.